I'm starting to hate my year abroad already. Any advice?

I was placed in a tiny town in Spain and so decided to live in a slightly bigger town 30 minutes away. However I'm finding this town is still too small. The average age of the people in the town must be in their sixties and I can't find anyone my age. I also cannot find any other language assistants in the area and I'm feeling really really lonely. I cant live in the main city as it's almost 3 hours away. I have plans to go visit friends in other areas of Spain over the next 3 months but no one to spend the evenings or the weekends with. This is starting to make me hate the year abroad and want to give up and come home already. I cannot go on feeling like this for another 8 months. Any suggestions for making me feel better?

This question was asked on 5th October 2014 and has been read 5297 times.

  • Anonymous Answer · 3 years ago

    I have the same issue, I know it might take a lot of bravery but are there any groups you could join. Anything, even if it's knitting! Or dance? It may take a while to meet people this way but I suppose it's worth a shot

  • Anonymous Answer · 3 years ago

    Hi,

    I appreciate this won't be of much help, but it's exactly the way I am currently feeling in Germany. All the young people have moved to the cities to find jobs and I am spending so much time alone. I live with two teachers but they work full time and don't do anything in the evening except watch TV. I've joined a zumba class and started rowing but the average age must be about 40. I am never normally homesick but at the moment I just feel so miserable.

    I appreciate I don't have much advice but it's nice to know I'm not the only person having a miserable time at the moment!

  • Emily Day · 3 years ago

    Hey, 

    First of all I totally get this feeling! For the first 2 weeks I was in Germany (this year) I did not know a single soul and had no internet connection. This made communication with anyone really difficult and I began to feel really low too. I also started to feel like there was no point in being here and wanted to go home so badly. My advice would be to make sure you do things during the day, go out and keep yourself busy, then you will feel more tired in the evenings and will be more interested in sleeping! 

    Other than this how I got by was just reading (ALOT) of books and making nice meals for myself. (Even though I don't have a proper kitchen, I made do.) Once I got the internet I subscribed to Netflix (which is still doing me alot of favours) and skyped my parents, friends and boyfriend frequently. In the end I actually made friends by loitering in the tourist info. 

    Basically make sure you exercise (even if this means walking down the road and back) every day, eat right and try to sleep enough this helps so much. And otherwise just try to occupy your mind however you can. I also played a lot of games on my iphone! Sad, but true. Hope this helps, facebook me if you would like to talk :) x

  • Jasmine Martineau · 3 years ago

    Leave! Your year abroad should be the best year of your life. Go online and find a job somewhere awesome and have fun 

  • Anonymous Answer · 3 years ago

    Hey there! If I may, I agree with some of the answers above. Try to join a club (if your university offers some); if you can, try moving closer to the university as there can be more activities during the week with other students! You should also try and see if there is a Facebook page for your class or something? Of course if you don't feel comfortable you shouldn't force yourself into Erasmus for the whole year but there's still time to make a change and start seeing things differently... If you like anything like sports for example you should be able to find some infrastructure in your university that would allow you to join social groups that practice the sports you like! Good luck and I hope everything will get better! Don't lose hope and remember everything has just started ;)

  • Suzanna Ruth · 3 years ago

    Okay, don't go home. At least not yet. I spent my year abroad in mexico really far away from my friends, family and boyfriend and for the first term I struggled. That's not to say i hated every single moment but I wasn't exactly having the time of my life. I was living pretty much on my own in a building with some older people. In my second term I decided to find new housing and live with some locals. They were all over 30 but I ended up having a fantastic time and really enjoying myself, so you don't necessarily have to be with people the same age to have fun.

    What I'm trying to say is that it can take a while to settle in somewhere, especially if you've made  big change but I would really advise against giving up yet. As others have said, you could try joining some clubs or something like that, or reconsider your housing situation like I did.

  • Laura Williams · 3 years ago

    Don't give up, there is so much pressure on everyone for your year abroad to be incredible, but realistically this is not possible. You will have down days and up days, so at the moment you're having down days because you feel lonely. So look for annny group you could join, even ask your working colleagues. Tell them how you feel and I swear they will be helpful! Ask them what they do in their spare time (even if they are old), maybe take up exercise, like a sport or even just jogging. You could also try and get a little job on the side- you could offer english tutoring- I met an 18 year old girl doing this in France and we became friends. Advertise in the town hall for a tandem partner- lots of people want to learn English, or even put a notice for a jogging partner or something. Be creative and put yourself out there, even though at first you will hardly ever be in your comfort zone... Remember though, it's totally okay to sit in your onesie and watch English tv all day!! Hope this helps! :) 

  • Bogi Szabo · 3 years ago

    Have you considered the possibility of quitting your teaching assistantship and finding an internship with a Spanish company or charity instead? Try searching online to find opportunities.This would give you the chance to move to a bigger town or city elsewhere.

  • Anonymous Answer · 3 years ago

    Thank god someone understands! My situation is different - I'm on Language assistant programme and feel like I have lost free will, which means the choice to do something when I want.

    When your a child it´s ok but as a full grown adult being told where to go and when and not having actually free time is terrible.

    I want to run back home but I'm not sure where to begin or if should I just stick this out. I'd make more money back home too!

    I liked Jasmine´s comment because no one ever just says the truth.

  • Elisa Vallone · 3 years ago

    I'm really hating mine too, I'm at uni in Spain and I can barely understand half of what the teachers are saying. I'm also taking a beginners Portuguese class and he seems to expect us to know everything already. I'm stressing so much and I don't know who to turn to for help. So much for my year abroad being fun :/

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